Winter Driving in Ice and Snow

Defensive Driving For Winter Driving on Ice and Snow

We will all have to deal with winter driving as some point within a twelve month period. Although winter driving is dangerous, you can be confident behind the wheel if you take a winter driving course with Young Drivers of Canada and follow some of these suggestions.

Before you even venture out in winter driving conditions, you need to ensure that your vehicle is ready for winter driving.  Your coolant/antifreeze mixture should be checked. Make sure your battery cables are free from corrosion or an old battery is replaced to avoid unpleasant situations. Your car’s wiper blades should be free of tears or breaks and you should have winter tires on your vehicle. It is also important to ensure that:

  • All the snow and ice is cleaned from the vehicle, including the windshield and light areas. The better you are able to see, the safer your drivings should be.
  • Make sure to keep at least 1/2 a tank of gas in the vehicle at all times while driving around in the winter.
  • Your cellphone should be fully charged but put away for emergency use only. Cellphones are a distraction and reaching for a ringing phone could cause a vehicle to swerve and lose control in wet and slippery conditions.
  • Prepare your route. Know where you are going before you get behind the wheel.
  • Try not to plan your trip during the evening or night. Winter driving in the night can be an extra problem. For longer winter driving excursions, ensure that your vehicle is equipped with a winter car emergency kit. 


Additional Tips to Survive Winter Driving

  • make sure your running lights are on at all times.
  • understand that winter driving takes longer and you can’t drive the same speed as you would on a dry sunny day.
  • realize that it will take longer to stop in the snow and ice, you need to adjust your stopping distance accordingly.
  • give yourself as much space as possible, the 3 second rule does not apply.. it should be quadrupled at the minimum   
  • adjust your speed, it’s logical, even the best experienced drivers can have difficulties driving in bad weather.


Winter driving is challenging and can be nerve-wrecking. To help you cope with the winter elements, take a winter driving course with Young Drivers of Canada. With in class and on road instruction, Young Drivers of Canada will give you the confidence you need to survive winter driving in Canada.

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